At the same time, by praying we fulfill the desire we have as human beings to know God. After all, we are made in God's image. Something in in our being thirsts for intimacy with God. That thirst is described in the psalms, O God, you are my God, for you I long. For you my soul is thirsting. Like a dry weary land without water... so my soul longs for you, my God. Something in us cannot be satisfied unless we are draw near to God. "Our hearts are restless," St. Augustine says, "until they rest in you." By praying, we rest in God.
The church in her formal prayers often humbly acknowledges that prayer is God's gift and asks God to give and strengthen that gift in us. At the beginning of her daily prayers, the liturgy of the hours, the church prays two verses of the psalms.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
O God, come to my assistance.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Simple, truthful words. I cannot open my lips in prayer unless God give me the gift. O God, come and assist me; help me that I may approach you.
And God does give this beautiful gift. In prayer God comes and helps; God invites us into the divine presence where we can open our lips and our hearts. There God welcomes our slightest word or cry, our smallest effort.
Delighting to give us the gift of prayer, God wishes that we come near to share our hearts and minds, our very life with One who loves us. Prayer is God's precious gift; cherish it always.